TillVAS Till Valley Archaeological Society
TillVAS             Till Valley Archaeological Society


Welcome to the website of the

Till Valley Archaeological Society (TillVAS)

Patron: Rt. Hon. Lord Joicey


Hon. President: Dr. Chris Burgess

The Society's core aim is

"To encourage and promote the study of the archaeology, heritage and history of the catchment area of the River Till and the eastern Border lands of England and Scotland".



 TillVAS is pleased to announce the publication of  Aspects of Buildings & Monuments: Branxton, Crookham, Etal, Ford by Antony Chessell & Gwen Chessell. Price £10 pbk Foreword by Rt. Hon. Lord Joicey ISBN 978-0-244-75069-5
This fully illustrated book aims to draw attention to the many interesting building features and monuments in the four villages and surrounding hamlets. It is a potterer’s guide to local building styles and techniques that have determined the character of the villages, the countryside and the life of the people in the area. The authors will be donating the net proceeds of sale to TillVAS.
The book will be available for sale between 6.45pm and 7.30pm in advance of the TillVAS meeting at Crookham Village Hall on 5th June. Thereafter, it will be available from local outlets and also online.


We would like to share with you our interest in and enthusiasm for, everything to do with the history of the Till Valley and its river catchment, in north Northumberland, together with the eastern Border lands, once known as the English and Scottish Marches.


< Please click on the tabs on the top left-hand side of this page to learn about the Society and its activities.



Photo-River Till, looking south from Twizel Bridge


The website has a dual purpose:-

Firstly, we wish to reach as wide an audience as possible so that, hopefully, those interested will want to attend meetings, excursions, archaeological 'digs', field walking and social occasions and become members of the Society.

Secondly, the intention is to keep members up-to-date with all the latest news and to inform them on what has happened, what is happening and what is planned for the future.


The Till Valley and the eastern Borders are rich in history and archaeological sites, set in attractive and varied landscapes. The River Till rises high up in the Cheviot Hills and is named the River Breamish in its upper reaches, becoming the River Till at Bewick Mill. It is a major tributary of the River Tweed and, unlike other tributaries, its course lies entirely in England. It is a long river, perhaps 40 miles, although it is difficult to be precise because of its many twists and turns before it finally flows into the River Tweed at Tillmouth.                      


All photos on this and other pages © TillVAS or members who have given permission.

TillVAS is a not-for-profit organisation recognised as charitable by HMRC.

TillVAS is on Twitter and Facebook

The counter below shows the number of visitors to the website since October 2013:-

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TillVAS is looking for volunteers to help with research. Please see archaeology page for details.

 TillVAS is pleased to announce the publication of  Aspects of Buildings & Monuments: Branxton, Crookham, Etal, Ford by Antony Chessell & Gwen Chessell. Price £10 pbk Foreword by Rt. Hon. Lord Joicey ISBN 978-0-244-75069

Bowsden History Group
Monday 6th May promises to be a fascinating evening. Kim Bibby-Wilson, from the Northumbrian Language Society, will be speaking about and singing songs in the Northumbrian language.
So ....leave your hacky boody at yam and gan doon to Bowsden Village Hall. You niver know who ye might dunsh there!

Next meeting of the British Rock Art Group will be on Saturday 8th June in Newcastle followed by an excursion to the rock art of Northumberland on Sunday 9th June. For information contact aron.mazel@ncl.ac.uk  or


Festival of Archaeology 2019, 13th - 28th July

For information on events near you contact


There are two new publications which may be of interest to members.

'Wooler During the Great War' by Richard J Waters (available at Grieves in Berwick or Brands in Wooler.

'Berwickshire Names Lists' by the Bunkle and Preston History group. £10 (25% to TillVAS funds) available in Duns PO or at TillVAS events.

Please look at 'other projects'  to read about an opportunity with Dig Ventures


The Society has an extensive collection of documents and photographs held in its secure archives. These are invaluable for members wishing to study the local history of the area or wishing to gather information for e.g. the  Village Atlas Project. Please click on the tag above to see the catalogues. Anyone wishing to access the archives should contact the Society's Archivist, Maureen Charlton or the Assistant Archivist, Julia Day.


Please see a new section on the website—click on the appropriate tab above.  Please let us have your thoughts, in prose or in verse.

Please click on the Latest Newsletter page to see information for the current month.


Click on Reports on Events, above, for detailed accounts and press reports.


The Society operates a bookstall at all its meetings.

Items for sale include:-

1. The Society's first publication Breamish and Till: From Source to Tweed at £10 per copy and

2. Vivian Wilcock's Andrew Todd 1844-1908 ( with research input by TillVAS members) at £5 per copy.

See the Publications page for more about these books. Copies of Breamish and Till are also available in Cornhill Village Shop and the Lavender Tea Rooms and Village Shop in Etal.


There are also archaeological books and journals for sale. Net proceeds of sale go to TillVAS funds.